My visit to Launde Abbey last week left me with a very refreshing feeling. I managed with my crutch to negotiate the woodland paths and came upon an almost completed stone spiral with a pathway to walk around it. It was surrounded by shrubs and trees and I really enjoyed walking it. Walking spirals and labyrinths are very spiritual experiences if walked in the right state of mind and in silence. The centre is where you find the quiet within you. Any kind of walk like this replenishes the spirit as well as the body. I am looking forward to my next visit.
How do we define sacred spaces? To me many ordinary places can be called sacred because they are special to me. All of our Earth is sacred and we should treat it with care.
I have spent some time this morning scanning photos taken over the years for my new book. I have found some photos of ancient trees, some where the roots have grown above ground and some photos of woodland streams. There is something very special about both trees and woodland streams but today the stream wins. I love to sit by or on rocks in streams and rivers. My cares flow away with the running water and I feel refreshed quite quickly. Below is a photo of one of the many special places for me, the river at Betws y Coed where I have spent many happy hours.
So how do I see sacred space? Sacred space to me is anywhere that I can feel the connection between myself and Mother Earth, anywhere that I can feel the connection between myself and the Universe. So everything is sacred space! But some places are more special to me than others. Many people who are Druids feel that Stonehenge is the place to be and it is very special to them. My feelings about Stonehenge are ambiguous and heretic according to some. I can stand there and admire those who built this circle of stones, feel the essence of their lives as they did this work. I think about their origins; did they come from elsewhere in our Universe? Where did they get their knowledge to build this circle? But there are other places in this country and in others, where my feelings of being connected to the Earth are much stronger and much more profound.
The photo on the front of my book shows a path through woodland leading to a very special place to several dolmens, a very sacred space and the feeling of connection is very strong to me right there.
Much of the poetry in my book is connected with the land, our Earth, and the ancestors.
Here is the photo:
Here are a couple of lines from one of the poems:
‘My feet grew roots into the earth
As I stood there on the cliff
My heart expanded and filled with love
As I became one with the land.’